On Beauty: How to perk up your overworked peepers
Aisling McDermott: If you feel that your eyes are developing more ‘character’ around them than you’re happy with, here’s what to do
We have just the tonic for tired eyes. Photograph: Thinkstock
Finding a good eye cream that will hydrate, firm up skin and give you that bright-eyed feeling should be a simple enough challenge. Get it wrong, however, and that little pot of promise will irritate your eyes, give you milia (those little white lumps that can occur under eyes), or drag down the skin.
Over the years, bad eye-cream choices have seen me ticking the boxes on all three of these issues. And because good creams for the eye area are often pricey, the wrong one can be an expensive mistake. Throw some often contradictory rules about application methods into the mix and you have a handful of challenges that makes the whole process frustrating.
For instance, are you putting your eye cream directly under your eyes? This might seem like an eminently sensible move and one that you would think would earn you a little pat on the back from the experts. But no, I’m afraid that this is breaking the regulations. Me? I hate rules, but happily this is an easy one to get right. Forget all the talk about “cross hatching” and “lymphatic drainage” application methods, which can just make things needlessly complicated. Facialists love to tell us what we should be doing in a perfect world, but most of us just need to know the simple, easy way to do things in the real one.
The key is to use a tiny amount of cream and don’t put it too near your eyes, or on the eyelids. Feel for the bone around your eye (the orbital area) and tap your cream, above and below your eyes. You don’t need to put it directly under the eyes, as the skin here is much thinner than the rest of the face and the cream will creep up to hydrate the whole area. This will also vastly reduce the possibility of irritation. Burning, stinging eyes are no joke, so avoid products with fragrance if you have sensitivity issues, and choose a cream you already know suits your skin.
Good ingredients to look for out for are hyaluronic acid to instantly hydrate; caffeine to help firm and depuff; plus antioxidants (vitamins A, C and E), which can help prevent further damage.
So when do we actually need to start using eye cream? In our mid-20s, some say, while others reckon you’re grand until your 30s.
It’s not age-dependent, and you should only use an eye cream if you think you need it, or perhaps if you feel that your eyes are developing more “character” around them than you’re happy with.
Don’t use one in an attempt to combat dark circles: no cream can do this. Dark circles occur as a result of lack of sleep or another underlying cause, and no amount of eye cream is going to do away with that. To really brighten your eyes, a product needs to contain some kind of concealer – good ones are Estée Lauder Idealist Cooling Eye Illuminator and Garnier BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector Eye Roll-On.
More at beaut.ie
Trilogy Age Proof CoQ10 Eye Recovery Concentrate (€39.29, 7.5ml)
This potent all-rounder has a roller-ball applicator that gives a lovely coolness to the eye area. This is good for instant hydration and soothes puffy eyes.
Lancome Absolue Yeux Precious Cells Global Multi-Restorative Eye Concentrate (€97, 15ml)
It’s expensive, but this serum is instantly firming and great for more mature eye-cream seekers. Best used at night time.
Úna Brennan Super Facialist Vitamin C+ (€15.59, 15ml)
Clever use of light-diffusing ingredients mean this cream will instantly brighten the look of dark circles. A dose of Vitamin C plus caffeine helps to create a fresher look.
Olay Regenerist Luminous Anti-Dark Circle Correcting Eye Treatment (€39.99, 15ml)
This reasonably priced cream firms and moisturises, and the texture works really well under make-up.
L’Oréal Age Perfect Cell Renew Serum (€21, 30ml)
Targeted at the 50-plus market, this serum will work for anyone concerned with skin ageing. It doesn’t feel heavy or “cloggy” and is a perfect base for moisturiser.